The Q&A Archives: Shade Garden

Question: I have a very Shady spot on my front porch that never has direct sun;direct sun is 12ft away, but there is a big area of 17x1.5ft that was made to be for flowers. However, I am having a hard time trying to figure out the best way to do this, let alone finding the right flowers to put there. I really like Begonia's but I don't want to get them and it not work.

Answer: There are a number of shade loving plants that will take the Arizona heat. Begin by amending the soil with some organic matter and then planting a few of these:

Agave vilmoriniana (Octopus agave); Aloe barbadensis (Aloe ferox); Aqueligia chrysantha (Golden yellow columbine); Bulbine frutescens; Cissus trifoliata ( Arizona grape ivy); Cuphea llavea; Cycas revoluta (Sago palm); Duranta (Sky flower); Mist flower; Justicia brandegeana (Shrimp plant); Lobelia laxiflora (Loose flowered lobelia); Mimulus cardinalis (Monkey flower); Muhlenbergia rigens (Deer grass); Oenothera stubbei (Yellow evening primrose); Oenothera caespitosa (Tufted evening primrose); Penstemon; Plumbago scandens (White plumbago); Poliomintha madrensis (Mexican rosemary mint); Ruellia brittoniana 'Katie' (Katie ruellia); Salvia coccinea (Cherry Red Sage); Tagetes lucida (Licorice marigold); Zephranthes grandiflora (Pink rain lily); Geraniums; 4 o'clocks; ferns. The fancy 'sweet potato potato' vines you can buy at the nursery in a variety of colors and leaf shapes also does quite well in shade.

Enjoy your shade garden!

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